GUWAHATI, Sept 10: The issue of ‘lakhs of Indians not appearing in the complete draft NRC’ has made leaders of the BJP Assam Pradesh their blood boil. The party has gone all out against State NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela on his role in NRC update.
Hajela has been updating the NRC in accordance with the directive of the Supreme Court of India. In the last hearing, Hajela suggested ten documents for the verification of the over 40.7 lakh applicants whose names have been excluded from the complete draft NRC. The court has asked all stakeholders to make their opinions on the ten documents known to it before September 19. In such a backdrop, the rationale behind the BJP addressing the media on the issue and going all-out against Hajela, instead of raising it in the apex court, is under question.
Talking to the media at Atal Bihari Vajpayee Bhawan in Guwahati on Monday, State BJP president Ranjit Kumar Dass said: “The names of lakhs of Indians like Gorkhas, Bengali-speaking and Hindi-speaking people, besides indigenous people of the State have not appeared in the complete draft NRC. This is totally against what the BJP and other indigenous people of the State aspired to. After a thorough analysis and study, it has come to light that the complete draft NRC gives an inverted picture of what the BJP and indigenous people of the State aspired to.” Reacting sharply to the list of documents which Hajela has submitted to the Supreme Court of India recently, Dass said: “The State NRC coordinator has dropped five of the 15 NRC documents while submitting them to the apex court. The vital documents that have been dropped are – 1951 NRC, the voter list of 1971, citizenship documents, refugee certificates and ration cards. The Indians whose names haven’t appeared in the complete draft NRC have been getting the jitters. Besides challenging the very framework of NRC update, such a step has also dealt a blow to the process. The BJP is shell-shocked by this step. This is a self-contradictory move on his part. Who has Hajela talked to while taking such a step?”
Das has further said that the State BJP has already raised the issue before party high command at its recently held central executive meeting in New Delhi. “We’ve already submitted an application each to the Union Home Minister and the State NRC Coordinator for taking steps to include genuine Indians whose names have not appeared in the complete draft NRC. I’ve requested the national leaders of the party to take steps towards that end by September 19, 2018.”
Spelling out the content of a resolution adopted at the party’s national executive meeting, Dass said: “The national executive reassures every genuine Indian citizen that none of them shall be left out when the final NRC is published. We shall also take steps to protect the interests of the minorities in our neighbourhood who came to India seeking refuge.”
Making the party’s stand clear, Dass said: “The NRC should not drop the name of a single genuine Indian nor should it include the name of any foreigner. NRC is the soul of the Assam Accord. Even as the objective of the Accord is detection, deportation and deletion of names of illegal Bangladeshi foreigners from voter list, yet infiltration into the State is still going on. Though the pilot project of the NRC was started in 2010 when the Congress was in power at Dispur, the then state government conspired to derail the project. With the Supreme Court coming to the scene and the BJP coming to power in 2014 at the Centre and in 2016 at Dispur, the NRC update work has picked up pace.”
Dass, however, has rubbished the allegation that Hajela dropped the five NRC documents at the advice of the Chief Minister.